4 Things to Do in Bangkok's Hippest Neighbourhood
Highly accessible by BTS but yet to be discovered by Tonya tourist, Ari (also spelled Aree) is on the up and up with an ever-growing cluster of cute boutiques, smart restos and indie galleries.
Thronging with office workers during the day, this Bangkok nabe transforms into ground zero for the creative glitterati — think Vogue Thailand editrix and local insta-stylistas — by nightfall. We shortlist a few requisite pit-stops to experience the zeitgeist zone before hoi polloi catch on.
Thai fashion has a deservedly strong rep, with renowned local names such as Vatanika, Asava and Disaya commanding hefty price tags to match. Sample one of the brightest new talents Teerut (Vick), founder of Vickteerut, via his youthful diffusion line at this brick-walled box of a boutique. Minimalist, wearable Nippon-esque separates reign supreme, from off-the-shoulder crop tops to deconstructed asymmetrical skirts. The calming space is also home to pottery and painting workshops for creative souls in the mood for clay n' colour play.
Ari Soi 2, +6698-281-6541 , +662-279-1260, vicksweekend.com
The contempo art scene in Bangkok can give Beijing a run for its money, and Ari has just the indie venue to prove why. Arty smarties beeline to Numthong Gallery, a sizeable, purpose-built space committed to showcasing established and emerging Siamese talent. Past exhibits include boundary-pushing commentary on capitalism and funky ode to shapes and dimension.
72/3 Ari 5, Phahonyothin Rd, +66 81 918 5067, gallerynumthong.com
This greenhouse-chic eatery has been credited for putting Ari on the map. Attracting fashion-forward foodies from near and far with its distinct design and culinary ethos, the glass-and-concrete-encased flopspot serves remarkably diverse Nippon-French fare, including frogs legs, fiery yakisoba and wood-fired pizzas. Craving comfort over creativity? Hop across the soi to lil' sibling Salt Smoke for protein-packing burgers.
36/2 Phahonyothin Soi 7, +66 2619 6886, saltbangkok.com
In desperate need of a post-prandial quaff? Dash off to this woody, vibey imbiber that gets the atmos buzzing with a whiskey-focused drinks menu and live cover bands. Loud and proud scenesters fluttering about the premises are all stylishly frocked, so bring on your best OOTD. The bar is too hip for a Facebook page or website, so memorise the intersection and figure it out from there.
Ari Soi 4, +08 7511 4466
– Written by Venus Wong with contributions by Chawadee Nualkhair.
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Scribe and avid foodie Chawadee has lived in Thailand on and off since 1995, and now calls Bangkok home. She enjoys all types of fried noodles, but is not a big fan of jok.
- Chawadee LOVES... Pies, anything with sticky rice, whiskey and Game of Thrones
- Chawadee LOATHES... Soggy soft-shell crabs, lukewarm congee, ice wine and Dallas Cowboys